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May 2017

Posted Thursday, May 18, 2017 

“No matter how hard the conditions are or hopeless, you can always be the difference. You can always be that light others need in order to take action.” – Rosa Maria Payá

Earlier this month Carrollton hosted human rights and democracy activist from Havana, Cuba, Rosa Maria Payá who was invited to speak to the High School students, the leadership of the Cuban Alumnae, Faculty and Staff. As with all prior speakers, Carrollton strives to create an environment for learning and critical thinking. Ms. Payá is a young activist spearheading an important cause to enable the Cuban people to choose their future. In 2015 Rosa Maria introduced the grassroots initiative Cuba Decide. The new initiative seeks to continue the effort led by her late father, Cuban democracy activist Oswaldo Payá, who died under suspicious circumstances in 2012. His initiative Project Varela collected over 25,000 signatures in 1998 to demand that the Cuban National Assembly enact a law to allow freedom of expression, association, and free elections in the country. He was also a recipient of the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov Prize and five-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.  

In her speech Rosa Maria highlighted the realities of present day Cuba and the importance of garnering international support for the peaceful return to democracy and free elections. She educated her audience to the socio-political climate on the island which is not visible to the visitor or casual observer. In speaking about Cuba Decide she explained it as a tool to initiate change should the Cuban people wish it with their vote, and eventually ensure a legitimate transition from a single-party permanent rule to a democracy. 

Carrollton was pleased to offer this opportunity to listen to a committed and courageous young woman who has spoken at countless events including the UN Human Rights Council, Oslo Freedom Forum, the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, and met with members of parliament, heads of state and the Dalai Lama. 

The event was facilitated by alumna, Carmen Algeciras Vadia ’97. Carmen is a consultant and executive project management leader with experience in 28 countries. Since 2008 she has consulted for numerous organizations on doing business in Cuba and facilitated the award of more than 15 US government-funded grants in the areas of technology, civil society strengthening, cyber-security, and information freedom. She is an ardent supporter of Cuba Decide, as well as the Director of Development for the campaign.


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Posted Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Last Friday members of the Class of 2017 were inducted into Carrollton’s Alumnae Association, the National Association of Alumnae and Alumni of the Sacred Heart and the worldwide association of alumnae/alumni or AMASC. This ceremony, sponsored by Carrollton’s Alumnae Council, culminates an educational journey of discovery, growth, formation and faith guided by the tenets of the Sacred Heart mission.

At this joyful occasion each pin sister who has graduated from a Sacred Heart school somewhere in the world gives her individual senior the alumnae pin and accompanying lifelong “passport” which grants her entrance and hospitality at any of our houses worldwide. The first of two speakers. Elizabeth De Zulueta ’08 gave the Alumnae Address. Through anecdotes and examples from her life as a student, in post graduate work, and in starting her own company, she explained how the Goals of Sacred Heart education that were instilled in her at Carrollton have held her in good stead. She talked about how the greatest vicissitudes of life can point you in directions you had never dreamed of, yet you find yourself fully embracing and enjoying the adventure Carrollton prepared you for. She ended her speech with a rallying cry to the new alumnae; “Now it is time for you to go out into the world and crush every expectation the world has for you.” To read Elizabeth’s address click here.

The Student Address is given by the student whom the class has elected to represent them. This year the distinction fell to Sofia Dominguez ’17, a second generation Carrollton alumna. Her speech, as had been Elizabeth’s before her, was delivered to a soundless room where you could hear a pin drop. The audience was held in awe by her articulate words as she recalled the infinite blessings she received throughout her fifteen years here. She ended by telling her classmates to “Go out and do the impossible. I know you will change the world because you have already changed mine. As young as we are, we have already done so much for so many people; and imagine – the rest is still unwritten.” To read Sofia’s address click here.

We applaud the Class of 2017 who fulfill St. Madeleine Sophie’s vision of Sacred Heart graduates – women of courage, confidence and compassion as they make their way to their lives’ next chapter.  View the Class of 2017 College and University Matriculation List where one or more students will attend.

                    Sofia Dominguez '12    Elizabeth De Zulueta ’08


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Posted Friday, May 12, 2017 
By: Dana Randall
Director of Debate, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart
President, National Debate Coaches Association

Carrollton Debate wrapped up it's season in Salt Lake City at the NDCA National Championship over Easter Break. The NDCA brought together the nation's top one hundred and sixty competitive policy debaters to crown its champions. 

Carrollton qualified three teams for the event. In Speaker Awards,  Junior Alexia Boulos was named the tournament's 5th speaker and her partner Camille Garcia Mendoza, the nation's 19th speaker.

At the conclusion of preliminary debates, two Carrollton teams advanced to the elimination rounds. Senior Allison Pujol and her partner Sophomore Cecilia de la Guardia won their first elimination debate but lost their second, finishing the season as one the top16 teams in the country. Boulos and Garcia Mendoza also won their first elimination debate and lost their second, finishing in the sweet 16 as well. 

Now that the Varsity schedule is complete, the team turns its attention to Washington DC, where Carrollton Debate has once again been invited to finish the year with debates on Capital Hill.  Debates will take place in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing Room and demonstrate the Carrollton women's IR prowess while they argue the merits of US diplomatic and economic engagement with the People's Republic of China.

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Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017 

At the end of last November the school decided to participate in the Florida Gulf Coast University SunChase 2017 solar car competition held this past March. Working out of our newly expanded Makerspace/Innovation Center, the students embraced the ambitious and successful challenge – building a competitive solar car. Carrollton’s team, Solar Heart, came in second place overall out of a field of 12 teams from Florida high schools. The competition was comprised of 3 parts: first, a presentation to a panel of professors where Carrollton came in 2nd place, second, a 2-lap, 4-mile sprint where our team came in 4th place, and last, an 8-mile endurance/relay where Carrollton came in 1st place with laps driven by: Regina Morfin, Catalina Rincon, Francesca Lopez and Sabine Meurs.

This extraordinary success belies the challenges that were overcome to succeed. First and foremost was the timeline. Our students had less than 4 months to execute what is normally a full academic year project. Additionally, since this was Carrollton’s first time competing there was no prior machine that had been tested in competition or could be tweaked to deliver ultimate performance. Statistically 50% of rookie teams don’t even finish the race, yet we delivered a winning car.

Other major challenges included not having the opportunity to test at top speed. The team competed based on a theoretical top speed they were not able to test ahead of time. Also, there was no opportunity to test the underload. Maximum speed allowed was 35 mph and Carrollton performed at approximately 32/33 mph. Another factor was the inability to weigh the car. During a pre-race safety inspection it was discovered that we had one of the heaviest cars at 526 lbs. Minimum weight is 470 lbs and the lighter the car the faster it goes.

As per the competition’s recommendations a gas driven go-cart was ordered to be used as the framework. The parts arrived in January and the race was on. Both retrofitting and extensive design and fabrication needed to be done from scratch. Raw metal tubing was adapted and worked on the tubing bender. Metal sheets were cut and shaped on the band saw. Welding notched out new and adapted parts. An example of innovative imagination was the use of a laser cutter to create a prototype of an acrylic plate needed to adapt appropriate tires to the existing chassis. Because the cumbersome tires in a gas powered go -art increase the rolling resistance, it was essential to a winning car to find a way to use different wheels.

The goal of the team was to win, not just compete, so several features were added which Carrollton was the sole team to include. Among them was the inclusion of GPS. Small computers (Arduinos Microcontroller) were installed in the car and the pit zone with the GPS coordinates of the track to ensure compliance in no passing zones, speed limits and to communicate with the driver via Bluetooth headsets. A cell phone was mounted on the dashboard which allowed for live Instagram coverage of the race. The team also had data logging each second for both GPS data and 5 Individual Temperature sensors.

The race itself is held on an actual street that circles the University’s campus. For the event the two-lane road is converted into one-way traffic; one lane for regular cars, one lane for the solar car race. As such there was cross vehicular traffic that was directed by the police. This necessitated no passing zones, speed limits, all clear zones, etc. The pit zone had a 10 mph limit. Violations in any of these areas would have been costly. The technology in the car delivered a clear advantage. The success of the Solar Heart delivered a challenge for all future participants.

The students are looking forward to tweaking this year’s car because of its unused potential. When many of the cars were barely crossing the finish line, the Solar Heart machine had at least 85% electric power capacity left. They are also looking forward to having the time to apply their newly acquired experience to build/design a brand new car from scratch – built on our own chassis, which will expand our entry to two cars. And finally in the not too distant future, they are looking forward to building an autonomous car (no driver). This is not such a far-fetched idea after successfully utilizing the on-board computers and blue tooth technology, and applying the GPS coordinates.

The Carrollton team included 4 freshmen, 2 sophomores, 2 juniors and 3 seniors working with 3 advisors, Tim Cassel, Matt Jansen and faculty member, Alan Crockwell. Although the entire process was very organic, a leader emerged in the person of Francesca Lopez ’17 due to her interest, enthusiasm and dedication. Francesca will be studying mechanical engineering at University of Florida in the fall but, in her own words, she assures us she will be back and is looking forward to mentor the next generation of Carrollton innovators.

The students learned a lot more that the nuts-and-bolts of the project. They experienced first-hand the tangible evidence of teamwork needed to succeed; teamwork which included making certain that any and all knowledge had to be shared across the entire team. Due to the students’ different schedules it was essential to keep cohesion between where work segments were left off and where they needed to be picked up, especially since problems were being figured out as they went along. A Google document was created as a diary to track progress. It provided the methodical system to communicate progress and share discovery with their peers. Finally, this project based learning experience allowed the team to develop new skills, apply content knowledge and think outside the proverbial box in a most exciting environment.

Team members:

Alex Gomez ’18, Ana Sofia ‘19 and Carolina ‘20 Gomez Rivas-Vazquez, Belen Labarta ‘20, Catalina Rincon ‘17, Bella Gonzalez ‘18, Regina Morfin ‘17, Nina Gallinar ‘20, Sophia Roig ’19, Sabine Meurs ‘20, Francesca Lopez ‘17










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Posted Monday, May 8, 2017 

In the last couple of weeks the Primary Students showcased their major art projects for the year to their parents and faculty. The art curriculum focused on the process as the most important element of the work. As learners, the students are encouraged to seek their natural development of skills and the ability to move beyond the "pretty" picture. The learning process was the combination of two subjects, the visual arts, and computers/engineering. This was the major goal for this yearlong project

In Grade 1 students studied the work of Impressionist Claude Monet. His series of approximately 250 oil paintings called Water Lilies was the inspiration for the grade level project. All students were given their own "lily pond." By using sponges and cool colors students recreated the textural background for their impressionist work. Lily pads were added. All were assembled on different levels to create the illusion of a giant pond. A Japanese bridge was added to the cooperative project. For the engineering aspect the students used "Paint" to design their own lily pond and lily pad 2D project. Coding shapes and colors was their primary goal.


In Grade 2 students studied the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Each student designed their own Tiffany lamp after learning about the stained glass artist. Again, three dimensional work was the focus. Bases were constructed and then lampshades designed in the deco style of Tiffany. For the computer/engineering aspect students learned how to complete a circuit. Each student was given a small section of string lights. Students learned how to splice a wire to a battery and complete the circuit, thus enabling the lights to shine. In turn, they added the lights to the Tiffany lamps.


In Grade 3 students studied the sculpture of Claes Oldenburg. The emphasis was on a three dimensional experience. Each class sculpted a different type of ice cream treat; an ice cream sundae, a banana split and an ice cream cone. All were introduce to paper mache and how to make a sculpture interesting from all sides. For the engineering aspect students used "Paint" program to code an ice cream cone, sundae or banana split. Students could code their ice cream project using a variety of shapes and colors.


At Carrollton there is a “building blocks” approach to the program of studies. Artistic and coding skills progress from a beginner’s status in first grade to a more sophisticated design in the third grade. You can see the development from first to third in their ability use what they have learned in the art room and transfer that knowledge to their computer assignment.

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Posted Friday, May 5, 2017 

On Sunday, April 2, 2017, over 40 Carrollton students participated in the 10th Annual Florida International Chinese Speech and Skit Contest, held on the FIU Maidique Campus. Our students competed against 27 other schools, including Confucius Institute at Miami Dade College, FIU, Belen, North Broward Preparatory School, Pinecrest Elementary, and St. Brendan High school. In this competition the students performed individual speech or team skits in front of live audiences. This is the fourth year Carrollton participates in this competition and once again the students won many prizes, including:

Level I Speech

Sienna Orjuela Miranda (3rd grade) won first place

Nami Chung Vastine (3rd grade) won third place


Level II Speech

Sabrina Andreu Gonzalez (3rd grade) won first place,

Natalia Cordero (4th grade) won second place

Kaysi Crook (5th grade) and Frances Amat (4th grade) won third place


Level III Speech

Serena Collarte (11th grade) won 3rd place


Level IV Speech

Gabriella Garity (9th grade) won 2nd place


Level I Skit

Scarlett Lie-Nielsen, Allegra Morales, and Carolina Kadre (2nd grade) won 1st place

Valeria Jimenez-Maydon and Isabel Rodriguez (3rd grade) won 2nd place

Emma Filippi and Daniela Hernandez (2nd grade) won 3rd place


Level 2 Skit

Clarissa Choissone and Sabrina Andrew Gonzalez (3rd grade) won 1st place

Natalia Garcia-Hanna, Alessia Garcia-Amandi and Kaitlin Johnson (5th grade) won 2nd place

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Posted Friday, May 5, 2017 


Join us in celebrating the varsity tennis team on an incredible season!  These Cyclones played exceptionally well all season as reflected in their regular season record of 9-2.  With these amazing victories under their belt and confidence in their game, they entered the District Tournament knowing they had a chance to take it all.  After tying the Westminster Christian Warriors for first place, the teams were forced into a playoff for a winner take all match-up.  After a long afternoon of some amazing tennis, the Carrollton Cyclones took the win, 4-0, and were named District Champions!
Advancing into the Regional Tournament, the Cyclones celebrated another great win against the Chaminade-Madonna Lions sweeping the singles matches in the Regional Semifinals with a final score of 5-0.  Lucia Pineiro '19 won the #1 singles, Isabella Leano '20 won the #2 singles, Jimena Menendez '21 won the #3 singles, Alexandra von der Goltz '20 won the #4 singles and Alessandra Diamond '20 won the #5 singles.  In the Regional Finals, the Cyclones once again went head-to-head with the Westminster Christian Warriors where they fell short of victory, 3-4, with the Warriors winning a close match at the #2 doubles position in a third set tie break.    
Congratulations, Cyclones, on a great season and thank you for your amazing contribution to Carrollton Athletics!


Track & Field

The varsity track & field team came into the FHSAA 2A District Meet focused and ready to prove they were a better squad than last year. With experience and hard work, day in and day out, the Cyclones did exactly that.

The morning began with the 4 x 800 Meter Relay. Adrianna Diaz ’20, Carolina Prado ’17, Caroline Carlson ’20, Marissa Montadas ’20 brought the Cyclones a strong fourth place finish in the event with the final time of 10:25.19, which qualified them for the Class 2A Region 4 Track and Field Championships. At Regionals, the 4 x 800 Meter Relay team broke the current standing school record with a time of 10:17.8 and finished in 10th place. Having alternate runners Carolina Rodriguez ‘18 and Belen Labarta ’20 was critical as well; adding experience and depth for Carrollton.

While the first running event of the morning started, so were the field events where Olyvia Middleton ’18 took second place and Marian Alcantara ’19 finished third in the discus finals. Middleton’s distance, 82-07.00, along with Alcantara’s 80-05.00 were more than enough to qualify for the Class 2A Region 4 Track and Field Championships. With the first place contestant being a senior, Carrollton looks to take over next year’s top spot in discus. Look for this one-two combination!

Middleton and Alcantara finished strong once again in the shot put. Alcantara’s impressive throw of 32-03.75 allowed her to qualify for the Class 2A Region 4 Track and Field Championships. She will look to compete in both throwing events. Another great finish came from Dorothy Darden ’19. As a result, Alcantara took third place, Middleton took seventh and Darden right behind her in eighth place. It is safe to say Carrollton looks to continue their success in the throwing events with returning talent. At Regionals, both Olyvia and Marian had great showings with Marian Alcantara '19 advancing to the shot put finals and beating out her currently standing school record with a distance of 10.07 M and finishing in 9th place.

In the high jump, Sarah Kate Cornide ’18 finished in fifth place with a height of 4-09.75. Carolina Garcia-Romaguera ’20 finished in eighth place with a final height of 4-06.00. Next was the triple jump finals where Alexa Dickinson ’19 finished in sixth place with a distance of 30-03.50 and Kaitlin Ventura ’20 took eighth place with a final distance of 29-09.50.

As the day progressed, the Cyclones saw a solid finish from Marissa Montadas ’20 in the 800 meter run finals placing fifth with a final time of 2:30.47.  Adrianna Diaz ’20 had a great eighth place finish in the 1600 meter run final with a final time of 5:50.81.

In the 200 meter dash, Sophie Polenghi ’17 finished in second place and Tatyana Minnis ’17 finished in seventh with a final time of 28.65. Polenghi’s time of 27.25 qualified her for the Class 2A Region 4 Championship.

Carrollton had three Cyclones finish top seven in the 300 meter hurdles finals.  Catalina Morrison’s '18 fourth place finish with a time of 51:42 qualified her for the Class 2A Region 4 Championship. Caroline Carlson '20 finished just behind Morrison in fifth place with a time of 52:32. Alexa Dickinson '19 finished seventh with a time of 56:94. Carlson also had a nice finish in the long jump final finishing in eighth place with a distance of 15-04.75.

Three Cyclones went on to finish top eight in the 100 meter hurdles finals. Catalina Morrison ’18 finished in fifth place with a final time of 19.86, Francesca Mackle ’18 finished in seventh place with a final time of 20.25 and Sarah Kate Cornide ’18 finished in eighth place with a final time of 20.45.

A sixth place finish in the 4 x 100 meter relay from Fatima Perez-Hickman ’20, Tatyana Minnis ’17, Catherine Dwyer ’20 and Kaitlin Ventura ’20 also earned the team points.

It all came down to the last event of the day, the 4 x 400 meter relay. Carrollton’s team took seventh place in the finals. Members included Carolina Garcia-Romaguera ’20, Marina Portuondo ’19, Tatyana Minnis ’17 and Marissa Montadas ’20 who finished with a time of 4:36.41 which helped the team secure a third place finish at districts!





The varsity softball team enjoyed a successful season with some big wins against tough competition!  They enjoyed two victories over Ransom Everglades, traveled to Orlando where they defeated Foundation Academy along with other "not-so-local" teams and enjoyed months of training by the bay.  With the majority of their games played on their home field, the Cyclones were able to take full advantage and find their rhythm to finish the season strong.  Ending the regular season with a record of 11-9, the Cyclones entered the District Tournament as the third seed.  Though their playoff season was cut short, the team is full of great young talent with a bright future!



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Posted Tuesday, May 2, 2017 

High School students performed the hit Broadway show (and movie) Grease! by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. The show was directed by Theater Arts teacher, Mrs. Zena Rodriguez and incorporated the talents of the High School Dance Team, under the direction of Mrs. Gordana Tepavac. Many of the students in the show, including the leads, are members of the IB Theater and Dance courses. Musical direction was provided by Senior, Katharine Duerr ’17 and Dr. Walter Busse. 

The roles of Sandy, Rizzo, Frenchy, Marty, Jan, Sonny, and Doody were played by Katharine Duerr ‘17, Mikaela Secada ‘17, Gabriela Lee ‘17, Kintisa Hallmon ’17, Meagan Carpintero ’17, Sofia Dominguez ’17, and Isabella (Chichi) Valle-Riestra ’18 respectively. We had the pleasure of working with boys from Columbus and International Studies Preparatory Academy who played the roles of Danny, Kenickie, Roger, and Johnny.

This was the first time a Carrollton production was staged at Area Stage Company in Coral Gables. Working with the personnel from that venue, the Carrollton community was treated to a show which took advantage of a professional size stage and lighting system.

The Performing Arts disciplines are excited at the prospect of their first production in the new Convocation Center next year!



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Posted Tuesday, May 2, 2017 

For the very first time since its inception in 1922, a Carrollton senior, Gabriela Lee, was selected as the winner of the 2017 Associated Alumnae and Alumni of the Sacred Heart high school student essay contest. This year, Carrollton was among 17 other Network schools who participated.  The topic was: How has your participation in Sacred Heart education, a global network spanning from 1800 to the present, affected your vision of the world and future?  As one will read in Gabi’s essay, she writes on the important role of silent reflection, also known as Espacio, in her daily life.  It is a practice, which although it took some time getting used to, she has come to embrace and cherish.  She recognizes that without contemplation and reflection, the daily “hustle and bustle makes it impossible to piece together the events and people we experience…our actions border on meaningless, our hopes can go unrealized, our world seems pure chaos.” These moments of sacred silence allow her, for a brief time, to breathe, reflect, and connect with God. Gabi read her essay at the Cor Unum Liturgy of the AASH Conference- one of the Conference’s most poignant and meaningful events. The liturgy honors four extraordinary Sacred Heart alumnae from around the country along with one Religious of the Sacred Heart.  As many may remember Miami hosted the AASH National Conference in 2011.

Gabi was awarded $500, airfare to San Francisco, lodging with a Sacred Heart family in San Francisco, along with the honor of reading the essay at the Cor Unum liturgy in front of hundreds of attendees.  She will be attending the University of Miami Stamps Scholar Program in the Fall.

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Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart     3747 Main Highway     Miami, Florida 33133     Phone: 3054465673     Contact us

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